Sierra Nevada Adventures Multi Day Rides

Uncle Toms Cabin Ride 2-Days


Uncle Toms Cabin (camping) ADVENTURE ride EXPLORES an amazing OFF-ROAD route through the remote corners of the American River Canyon and rugged Rubicon River Canyon including the wild and Scenic Crystal Basin on the western side of the Sierra Nevada.

Day one of this adventure ride begins by exploring the amazing American River Canyon on exciting off-road wagon route once traveled by pioneers and prospectors in search of gold. This exciting off-road route explores the deeply wooded canyon, past cascading waterfalls, and historic Yankee Jim’s bridge, including awe-inspiring canyon views towering 2,000 to 4,000 feet above the river below.

History of a bandit: Gold was discovered on the ridge above the American Canyon in 1850 by a reputed lawless character known as "Yankee Jim" in the place that later took his name. According to historical records, Yankee Jim was in reality, a bandit with a special interest in stealing horses. Yankee Jim built a corral for his stolen horses and placed it on top of the ridge where he discovered gold to keep it a secret. Unfortunately for Yankee Jim, news about his discovery of gold spread quickly and prospectors rushed to the area to work the rich Diggins. After miners found out about his horse thievery, Yankee Jim barely escaped lynching and traveled to Southern California where he was later recognized and hanged for his crimes. Yankee Jims Diggins quickly became a boomtown and one of the most important mining towns in Placer County. By 1852 the Jenny Lind mind was discovered, and hydraulic mining was introduced to the Yankee Jim’s area. By 1853 the first mining ditch in Placer County was constructed in this area which provided the water needed for the highly productive hydraulic mining. During the 1850s the town of Yankee Jim’s was an important trading center to the mines in the vicinity and the steep and deep wagon road on the American River canyon became the main thoroughfare for every type of traveler, from heavy wagons carrying mining equipment and supplies to solitary characters on horseback to prospectors on foot. By 1868 the mines in the Yankee Jim’s area had produced more than $10 million in gold and large-scale hydraulic mining continued until the early 1880s.

Beyond Yankee Jim’s historical gold site, your off-road adventure explores further up the American River Canyon to visit last remains of a once thriving mining town with a colorful history. In its heyday this historic mining town was once known for the brutal blood sport known as Bull-and-Bear fights.

Bull-and-Bear fight history: Today, located on a remote ridge high above the American River is a small sign on a large tree marking the site of a historic Bull-and-Bear-Pit from the California Gold Rush. It’s hard to imagine now, but the brutal blood sport between Bulls and Grizzly Bears was once part of people’s Sunday routines in gold-mining towns in the Sierra Nevada. Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, it was estimated that California held over 10,000 grizzly bears. In the 19th century, California grizzlies were feared and sought for their intrinsic fighting qualities, especially when coerced into combat with a bull—an event that served as entertainment for a crowd on many Sunday afternoons. Bear-baiting was brought to California by the conquistadors, but the sport itself was as old as Rome that built great amphitheaters to host brutal blood sport events. But in the 19th-century California Rush, the venues were more temporary and crude structures often known as Bull-and-Bear-Pits. The crude arenas were built of split-board fencing and reinforced with heavy logs and adobe. A raised viewing platform was constructed for women and children, a family affair, while the men remained on horseback outside the barricades, raetas (braided-oxhide lassos), rifles, and revolvers at the ready just in case the bear decided to climb its way out of the pit.

After visiting the historical Bull-and-Bear-Pit sight your off-road adventure continues deep into the rugged and remote Rubicon River Canyon downstream from the world-famous Rubicon four-wheel-drive trail. The Rubicon Trail of Northern California is world-famous among four-wheel-drive fans and those who seek adventure. Many people ask, where did the name Rubicon come from? What’s the history? Well, the Rubicon Trail crosses the Rubicon River at a remote location known as Rubicon Springs west of Lake Tahoe and just north of the Crystal Range in the Sierra Nevada. Early settlers named the Rubicon River after its counterpart in Italy – a small scenic river 150 miles north of Rome. Historically speaking the name “Rubicon” has more significance than just the name of two rivers. Julius Caesar put the name Rubicon in the history books and anyone struggling with Latin in school probably still remembers the Rubicon in connection with Caesar’s famous words “alea iata est!” – “the die is cast!”. The significance of Caesar exclaiming “alea iacta est” was that by crossing the Rubicon, he was at the point of no return; he was declaring war on Rome. So, “crossing the Rubicon” means, you went beyond the point of no return.

After crossing the Rubicon, your amazing day of adventure brings you to the historical Uncle Toms Cabin for a BBQ dinner, drinks, and storytelling including a night of camping under the stars. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a small rustic cabin in the forest on the historical Wentworth Springs wagon road at 5,000 feet elevation between Georgetown and Rubicon Springs. Due to its remote location and time of history, little is known about its founder who built the first cabin at this site in the early 1860s, but he is believed to have been an African-American trapper and trader who settled in the area during the California Gold Rush. Toms Cabin became a favorite stopping point for pioneers, prospectors, and hunters while traveling what would become the Rubicon Trail during the gold rush which provided a welcoming gathering place for all walks of life. Today, Uncle Toms Cabin provides a unique, out of the way, must see rustic cabin-bar destination for hunters, four-wheelers, motorcyclists and off-roaders who see adventure!

Day two of this amazing adventure ride begins from Uncle Toms Cabin and explores deep into the wild and scenic Crystal Basin. Your off-road adventure explores through dense forests, deep canyons, and past cascading creeks to crystal clear blue mountain lakes. Beyond the mountain lakes, your adventure route ascends to a fire lookout a top a mountain summit which provides a spectacular panoramic view of the scenic Crystal Range in the Sierra Nevada. After your visit at the fire lookout, you will have the opportunity to explore a combination of curvy twisty roads and fun dirt roads through the South Fork American River Canyon.

The Crystal Basin located on the western slope of the Crystal Range spans roughly 85,000 acres in El Dorado National Forest, which simply means it’s your public land to explore. The Crystal Basin is filled with beautiful scenery consisting of lakes, reservoirs, forests, streams, waterfalls, and stunning views of the Crystal Range. Historically speaking, the El Dorado National Forest region was originally home to Miwok, Maidu, and Washoe tribes before pioneers explored the area in search of “gold” in California. The name El Dorado is Spanish for the golden one and later became the name of a legendary “Lost City of Gold” that has fascinated and so far, eluded explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors. For those who know Spanish, it’s obvious that the name of the forest is not the common spelling for El Dorado. The historical reason for this unusual spelling is not clear in the records. Some say it was a typo, other’s say it has a Chilean root that came with the early gold miners. Regardless of how it is spelled, it has been spelled that way for over 100 years, long enough to be part of the national forest’s distinct heritage. The El Dorado National Forest created on July 28, 1910, was carved out of the existing Tahoe National Forest to the north and Stanislaus National Forest located to the south. The story of today’s national forest is written on its wild landscapes and in the hearts and spirits of people who seek adventure!

Event Details:

Multi-Day Adventure Ride: (15 to 20 riders max)
This adventure ride is perfect for middleweight to heavyweight adventure motorcycles.
Off-road terrain is rated mild to moderate with some challenges.
Ride distance 400+ miles (175+ miles dirt roads)
Gas stop (150-mile range required)

Guided tour, on-road and off-road routes with historical sites and points of interest, including trip logistics.
Camping Fee, (campsite, fire pit & seating, firewood, barbecue, restrooms).
BBQ Dinner with all the fixin’s and continental breakfast and drinks. (Beer at UTC not included)
Delivery Truck for the food and your camping gear to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and back while you ride!
SNA t-shirt and swag.

Note: Bring your camping gear, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad to the meeting location on day one and your gear will be transported to Uncle Toms Cabin while you ride. Day two, your camping gear will be transported back to Folsom for you to receive at the end of the ride.

MEALS: (meals Not included)
Saturday lunch; pack water, snacks, and lunch.
Sunday lunch; pack water and snacks, lunch at a cafe.

MEETING TIME: 8:30 am (ride starts at 9:00 am)
MEETING LOCATION: Starbucks Folsom
195 Placerville Rd. Folsom CA, 95630

OPTIONAL HOTEL Before and After Event: (Hotels Not included)
Riders are responsible for booking their hotel reservations.

Hampton Inn and Suites Folsom, CA 155 Placerville Rd, Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 235-7744
Additional hotels are available in Folsom CA.
Truck/trailering your bike? Parking is available at the meeting location.

Questions email:

Still Have Questions?

Send Us A Message